8 Volunteer Opportunities Where You Can Flex Your DIY Skills

Updated: Oct. 27, 2023

Experience the joy of giving back while utilizing your DIY skills with these top-notch national volunteer opportunities.

Every year, millions of volunteers across the United States selflessly give their time, money and energy to help people in need.

Though the focus is on assisting others, volunteers are indirectly improving their own lives as well. According to the National Institute of Health, those who volunteer report better life satisfaction, self-esteem and physical and mental health compared to those who don’t.

If you’d like to put your DIY skills to use as a volunteer, here are eight national organizations and agencies that could really use your help.

National Park Service

The National Park Service oversees 840 million acres of parkland in the U.S. The agency relies on volunteers for various maintenance tasks.

Volunteers with carpentry, drywall, plastering and painting skills can join the Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program to repair trails, build shelters and trail bridges or maintain historic buildings. Head to volunteer.gov to find current openings.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a national non-profit that builds and donates beds for children in need.

Look for local “Build Days” organized by area chapters. During this day-long event, volunteers make wooden twin and bunk beds for children affected by poverty or natural disasters. They need people with carpentry and painting skills.

To get involved, reach out to one of the 270 local chapters across the U.S.

Kaboom!

Kaboom! is a national non-profit that improves play space equity in the U.S. It partners with charities, municipalities and community members in underserved neighborhoods to design, build and maintain playgrounds for children.

The program needs volunteers to pour concrete, hang swings, build slides and assemble play structures. Volunteers are also needed to replace broken equipment and perform regular maintenance.

Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together is a non-profit that repairs and rebuilds homes in communities nationwide. Needed DIY skills include carpentry, electrical, painting, plumbing, landscaping and drywall. Four program categories provide a variety of volunteer options:

  • Building a Healthy Neighborhood: This community revitalization program preserves homes and improves infrastructure in target neighborhoods. Volunteers might build ramps for senior centers, fix broken stairs, install better community lighting or repair park benches.
  • Disaster Readiness and Recovery: In this program, volunteers rebuild homes and community buildings damaged by natural disasters, as well as help with damage prevention methods. Projects range from total rebuilds to installing wind-resistant shutters.
  • Safe at Home: This program provides safety modifications at no cost to elderly homeowners with mobility issues. Volunteers might install grab bars, railings, elevated toilets or improved lighting.
  • She Builds: This program services women-led households. The homeowner assists in the repair work and can also access education programs to further their skills.

United States Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, national forests and grasslands. Part of the agency’s mission is to maintain these lands for future generations to enjoy. Volunteers with carpentry and landscaping skills can build shelters, trails, footbridges and accessible walkways.

Bikes for Kids Foundation

Bikes for Kids Foundation is a non-profit that rewards 3rd and 4th-grade students with a bicycle and helmet for completing pre-determined school projects. The organization works with Title 1 schools, where 80% or more of the student population qualify for free or reduced lunch.

During annual events, volunteers assemble the bikes to be used for the upcoming school year. They’re in need of volunteers familiar with hand tools.

Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers working on construction siteAriel Skelley/Getty Images

The global non-profit Habitat for Humanity builds, repairs and maintains housing for those in need. It operates in all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide.

Perhaps best known for its homebuilding, Habitat for Humanity also offers programs for disaster relief, accessibility improvements for veterans and community revitalization projects. Volunteers are needed with skills in carpentry, painting, drywall, plumbing, electrical and landscaping.

Operation Ramp It Up

Operation Ramp It Up is a non-profit that provides veterans and disabled citizens with wheelchair ramps. According to the organization’s website, it built 200 new ramps and repurposed 150 existing ramps in 47 states since 2014. It needs volunteers with carpentry skills and hand tool experience to assemble and install aluminum ramps.